The girls and I have read through Vanity Fair and past up to Hopeful and Christian's meeting with Mr. Byends from the city of Fairspeech. But this morning before we could begin our conversations returned once again to Faithful's trial. First we thought of Mr. Blindman's humourous but deadly charge, "I see clearly that this man is a heretic. The rest of the jury followed suit according to their names as in Mr. Malice who hates the very looks of him and Mr. Live-Loose charging that Faithful would "always be condemning my way."
So with such fond memories we backed up and revisited the trial. And once again the same defense made by Faithful Cheered, instructed and edified us.
FOR EXAMPLE consider the Charge made by ENVY:
"And in particular, I heard him once myself affirm, that Christianity and the customs of our town of Vanity were diametrically opposite, and could not be reconciled. By which saying, my lord, he doth at once not only condemn all our laudable doings, but us in the doing of them."
Faithful is on trial for his very life. His testimony is at stake. His life here is threatened.
How did Faithful respond? How would you respond? You talk with your acquaintances in the world and before you know it they are quite incensed with you. They rightly conclude that if what you say is true then you call into question there very religion for you make their "customs" to be diametrically opposite to Christianity itself.
Faithfuls wise and faithful response:
"I say, then, in answer to what Mr. Envy hath spoken, I never said aught but this, that what rule, or laws, or custom, or people, were flat against the word of God, are diametrically opposite to Christianity."
And so we learned this morning also, that what is FLAT OUT AGAINST THE WORD OF GOD is indeed diametrically opposite to Christianity. This truth should sink into us -- enter the ears and eyes and flow down solid into our hearts. We must be concerned to find our rule in scripture and to oppose God's counsel found there is opposed indeed to Christianity itself.
We learned also not to think lightly of the Word of God. What seems right in our own eyes matters not but what God has declared this is rightness itself.
I liked Faithful's answer - he is not their judge nor did he pretend to be. Simply this what is FLAT AGAINST THE WORD OF GOD IS diametrically opposed to Christianity.